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Whether they are kept in offices or carried around, these five gadgets are executive’s must-haves for keeping track of their health. In fact, one needs to keep and use them regardless of health status.

Meeting deadlines, the hassles of staying on top of business and frequent travels, are among the few things that could possibly expose most executives to constant stress subsequently compromising their health. Most Tanzanian executives have personal drivers, but living in a city like Dar es Salaam, a personal driver does not guarantee an exemption from the daily stress that Dar traffic can bring. 

Terrible traffic congestion is one of the daily stressors affecting almost everyone living in Dar es Salaam. Provided that we all use the same roads, driving a Ferrari or a brand new Range rover will not give you the presidential favors of escaping the huddles that are caused by congestion. 

With all other stressors on top of the popular Dar “foleni”, which make up a long list of risk factors for diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases, the habit of keeping track of one’s health is not only important for executives, but for all adults living in Dar es Salaam and similar cities.

On top of your routine visits to a doctor for health checks, regular health self-monitoring will give timely alerts and help you make adjustments accordingly. This is all possible thanks to the technology, which makes self-health monitoring easy, accessible and affordable.

The following is a list of JAMII HEALTH top five health gadgets that modern executives should own.

1. A Blood Pressure (BP) machine

Digital blood pressure machine

With high blood pressure (BP) affecting approximately 3 out of every 10 people living in Tanzania (WHO, 2012), regular blood pressure monitoring is obviously a priority. High blood pressure is a common cause of stroke, eye and kidney diseases as well as heart attacks. The majority of people with high BP have no warning signs and symptoms, a reason why high BP is sometimes referred to as ‘’ a silent killer’’. Therefore regular BP measurement can help to detect the problem.

People with high BP, whether or not on medication, need to monitor their BP on a regular basis. Thanks to technological advances BP measurement has been made easy and accessible. With the availability of various brands of digital blood pressure machines, we are now able to self-monitor our own BP and receive timely alerts whenever things go wrong. 

Talk to your doctor for recommendations regarding the type of BP machine to own, and learn how to keep a BP record and journal.

 2. A weight scale

A good quality and callibrated weighing machine

Weight can speak a million words about a person’s health. Most executives are subjected to situations that predispose them to a sedentary lifestyle that, together with other related factors, can trigger weight gain. Excessive weight has been linked to a number of diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems. Maintaining healthy weight requires proper monitoring.

Make it a habit to track your weight weekly or every two weeks by using a standard weight scale. Different brands are available, both digital and analogue. Even though a bathroom can be the most ideal place to keep a weight scale, modern weight scales are portable, which allow mobility.

Make sure you choose the right brand, and learn how to use, calibrate and maintain it. To get the most benefit from the information that your weight scale gives you, it is also important to measure your height. Weight and height can be used to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI), a parameter that can tell a lot about your health.

3. A tape measure

An easy to read tape measure

A growing body of evidence clearly highlights the importance of measuring waist circumference in estimating visceral fat. Yes, weight gain is a problem, but the reason why it is a problem is due to the fact that weight gain reflects fat gain.

It is the extra fat that we are worried about and not just weight as it is. We know that of the two kinds of fats that accumulate in our bodies, the kind that is found in our abdomens, particularly the kind found deep within the abdominal cavity, is the most dangerous culprit as far as diseases are concerned. 

Using a tape measure to measure the waist circumference, one can estimate the amount of abdominal fat. This provides yet another important parameter to be monitored regularly in order to keep up with our health. Make sure you have a good brand tape measure for the purpose, and don’t forget to learn how to properly use it. Remember, for technical reasons, it is recommended to have someone else take your waist measurements.

4. A body fat analyzer

Trust me, this is the coolest gadget any executive could own. Depending on the brand, the instrument can tell much more than just your weight.

You can estimate your total body fat, visceral fat, and muscle mass as well as water weight in less than a minute. Once you learn how to use it and learn the basics of how to interpret your results, you are ready to go. You might want to keep a journal of the parameters and simply send the values to your doctors for interpretation and discussions. Go for a simple brand, and discuss with your doctor before purchasing the gadget.

5. A motion sensor  

Accelerometers give a lot of details about your free living physical activity

Technology has done a lot for our health recently. Today, people can track not just the number of steps they make, but also the energy they expend, the intensity of the tasks they perform, their sleep patterns and much more.

Motion sensors (i.e. pedometers and accelerometers) can perform all these measurements. With less time for physical activity, executives need to wear motion sensors to track their activity levels. Physical inactivity is linked to a myriad of health problems including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Certain types of motion sensors (accelerometers) can also track and record sleep quality.

 

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